Regular readers know that I am a big advocate of learning martial arts. You never know when you will find yourself in a life or death confrontation. But unarmed fighting skills will take you only so far. That’s why I believe that every man should carry a tactical knife with him at all times, and there is no better knife for this job than the Kershaw Tanto.
A Man’s First Duty is to Protect His Family
I live in the US. Generally, it is very safe, but that doesn’t mean the threat of violence is zero. Before we had kids, I never carried a weapon. Thankfully, nothing ever happened. But there were times that I would have felt a lot more comfortable being armed with something.
For example, my wife and I have always taken long walks together in the wooded park near our home. There have been a couple of times when we encountered groups of about eight young men (not boys) walking through the park as well. On these occasions, my natural “spider sense” was triggered. I could tell that these men were up to no good. For whatever reason, my body language or just pure luck, these men left us alone. That’s a good thing because one man against eight is not good odds no matter how skilled the single man is in fighting.
Once we had our first child, the need to step up the protection of my family became urgent in my mind. It is the first duty of every man to guard his family. The first thing that I did was start looking for a good tactical knife that could become part of my everyday carry (EDC).
Everyman Needs an Everyday Carry Knife
Having a knife on you can dramatically improve your chances if your life or the lives of your loved ones are in danger. Martial artist William E. Fairbairn, inventor of the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife that is used by the British SAS, wrote:
In close-quarters fighting there is no more deadly weapon than the knife. In choosing a knife there are two important factors to bear in mind: balance and keenness. The hilt should fit easily in your hand, and the blade should not be so heavy that it tends to drag the hilt from your fingers in a loose grip. It is essential that the blade have a sharp stabbing point and good cutting edges, because an artery torn through (as against a clean cut) tends to contract and stop the bleeding. If a main artery is cleanly severed, the wounded man will quickly lose consciousness and die.
I wanted a serious weapon, not a toy. It had to be sharp enough and sturdy enough to endure a fight. It had to be compact enough that I could carry it whether I was wearing a suit or shorts and T-shirt. And it had to be easy to open—there is no sense in getting a pocketknife that you need two hands to open in a dangerous situation.
I didn’t even think that such a knife existed, but then I ran across a recommendation from Taylor Marshall for the Kershaw Tanto. Taylor is a Catholic philosopher, but he is also a skilled outdoorsman and a true man’s man so I trust anything he recommends.
Ken Onion Kershaw Tanto Serrated Blur Knife with SpeedSafe
I ordered the Kershaw Tanto and I have not been disappointed. As soon as you open the box, it becomes clear that the Kershaw is a serious weapon. It just looks mean, in a good way.
The handle is made of lightweight aluminum but it feels rock solid. It is strong enough to handle being dropped on cement and it can be used as a bludgeon even if the blade is still closed.
The blade itself is razor sharp. I haven’t tried it, but I believe it is so sharp that you could shave with it.
The blade is made of high tech Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel. Sandvik 14C28N is a top-of-the-line knife steel that combines a razor sharp edge, high hardness, and good corrosion resistance while still being easy to sharpen.
But the real magic of the Kershaw Tanto is the SpeedSafe feature. Custom knife designer Ken Onion invented the SpeedSafe technology. It uses a torsion bar to keep the blade under tension when it is folded. That means that you can easily open the blade with one hand. And it opens fast—very fast.
I have never owned a switchblade, but I cannot imagine that it would open faster than the Kershaw Tanto. Honestly, I would not be surprised if some do-gooder, nanny state politician doesn’t introduce legislation to ban the SpeedSafe technology. It is that blindingly fast.
If you don’t already have an EDC knife, I strongly recommend the Kershaw Tanto. I never leave the house without it.
My wife loves it too. Although she doesn’t carry the knife herself, she likes the idea that I always have a weapon at hand.
Ladies, if you are looking for a masculine gift for your husband, boyfriend, or brother, I can guarantee that the Kershaw Tanto is a gift that will be appreciated by any non-wimpy man. (Click here for the best price.)
A commenter (David) suggests an alternative to Kershaw that is produced by Benchmade. I am not familiar with Benchmade, but you may wish to check it out here.